Multi-day endurance mountain biking, UK style

Over the last few years, I’ve regularly followed races like the GDR, Tour Divide and CTR with a mixture of awe, envy and curiosity. The prospect of racing day-after-day is an interesting one.


-I get to ride, lots, and lots

-I get to travel long distances and see a variety of landscapes, with added benefit of “going somewhere”, rather than doing laps

-I get to deliberate and ponder kit choices for days, weeks, months


-These kind of events tend to be pretty expensive to get to

-Riding day after day after day wears you down, physically and mentally

-Wet kit, smelly kit, injuries, eating for fuel rather than pleasure

-I decide I need lots of new kit which costs lots of money

Well, there has been a small group of UK based racers, who have obviously been having similar thoughts, and are keen to bring the ethos of those races to our shores. And, just like buses, two might have come along at once. I’m bristling with excitement at the prospect of both races. The best thing about them both for cash-strapped boy like me, is that there is no entry fee for either, due to the self-sufficient nature of the riding.

The Cairngorms Loop particularly appeals to me… it is one of my favourite parts of the world, and the relative remoteness of the riding is a real bonus.

Not long enough for ya? Well, how about the EWE (England-Wales-England)? Looking like 800+ miles.

I’d love to do both in 2012. Let see how things go, hey?


I only got round to cleaning my cyclocross bike and taking this race number off this weekend. The number is splattered with mud, and will stay that way. It is from the Scotland Coast to Coast.

The race was a bit special for me. The result was better than I hoped for, but more than that, I rediscovered a forgotten part of me. A deep level of determination, thriving on exhaustion, enjoying the pain. I remembered why I do this, and made up my mind to do more.

I’ve made and broken too many promises to myself in the last few years. I’ll be keeping this one.